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Subject: The Uranus Variant (Solo and Cooperative Play) 1.0 rss

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Mr Uranus
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Preface
How many hours did I sit on my computer and played Warcraft 3? Hundreds! That’s why I really loved the game and maybe I was a little bit addicted to. I never started WoW because I was afraid that I could become really addicted to that game. So I was happy to hear that there a WoW board game came out. So I designed a variant (and used a lot of ideas from other gamers) with the following goals:

- Suspense and Surprise
The game should be an adventure. That includes sudden changes and dangers. Sometimes that can include almost impossible tasks. An adventurer will face such situations from time to time!

- Variety
Each new game should be different from previously games. That aspect is well supported by the great options to customize your character in the wow bg.

- Atmosphere
If we want to substitute a computer game with a board game, the atmosphere depends highly on our imagination. So never throw dice without knowing which character action that represents. If you throw 3 blue dice think “Now I’m firing my bow against that damned ghoul. Let’s see how well I hit!”

- Long Playing Time
I want to play that game like a computer game. So the game should take a long time (no pc game player would complain: “This game is lasting so long, damned!”). It should be normal to play a game for several days. Today I play one hour, tomorrow perhaps 2 hours and so on. For that reason we need a “save” function. That is our “war table”, where we can leave our game board until we want to continue.

Thanks
I would really like to say “Thank You!” to all players from bgg who wrote their variants. A lot of ideas came from those.

Now I think it's time to share my ideas with you in my first bgg-post. Enjoy!


The Uranus Variant (Solo and Cooperative Play) 1.0

(1) Setup
(1.1) Content/Expansions
We need the basic game and both expansions “Shadows of War” and “Burning Crusade”. From the BC-Exp. we don’t need the board.

(1.2) Not Applicable Cards
Sort these cards out:
- PVP-battle
- the outland war event cards

(1.3) Characters
Cooperative Play: each player chooses 1 character
Solo Play: choose 1 or 2 characters of the same faction (horde or alliance)

(1.4) Merchant
Standard rules (3 triangles, 2 squares, 1 circle).

(1.5) Gold
Standard rules (5 gold per character).

(1.6) Quests
Standard rules (4 grey, 1 green),
Plus: draw the quests of the opposite faction for the blue creatures (See below “Quests”)


(2) Round Concept, Recovering and Movement
(2.1) “Days” instead of “Rounds”
Remembering our goal “atmosphere”, each step at the round bar represents one day. If a card text concerns “a faction turn”, interpret that with “one day”.

On the day bar (round bar) we have 3 tokens:
- the day marker, starting at position 1 (round token)
- the marker for the destiny card, starting at position 1 (damage token)
- the provision marker, starting at position 5, see below “provision costs” (armour token)

(2.2) Actions per Day
Per day we can do one of the following actions:
- travel 1 area; exception: we have special skills, items or mounts (riding or flying mount).
- using a flying route
- step into a dungeon
- move from one stage of a dungeon to the next stage
- move out of a dungeon

Fighting, training and visiting the merchant lasts far less than a day, so we don’t need to take these actions into account.

(2.3) Recovering
Per day we automatically recover:
- health: equal to your level
and
- energy: equal to your level

(2.4) Character Management
You can equip and unequip powers, weapons and amour whenever you like, except during combat.

(3) Provision Costs
(3.1) Rule
Every 5 days each character needs money for buying new food. The cost in gold depends on your hero’s level (a stronger hero needs more food for more power):
Level 1: 0 gold
Level 2: 1 gold
Level 3: 2 gold
Level 4: 4 gold
Level 5: 8 gold
Level 6: 16 gold

That’s one of the most important things which turn the game into a strategic game. Because if you travel trough the land without earning money, you will starve!

(3.2) Provisions Marker
Use a green armour token and place it on day (round) 5. That’s our provisions marker. When you reach the marker, pay the cost and move the marker to number 10 and so on.

(3.3) If You Cannot Pay
That’s bad! In this case you must sell one or more items to a travelling merchant (you have luck at that moment, so that you will automatically meet one). But the travelling merchant is a real rogue! He pays only 1/3 of the item’s gold value (Round fractions mathematically, the minimum price is 1 gold).
If that’s still not enough gold for your provisions, you will starve to death and your game is eventually over! So when you are buying expensive new staff, always have an eye on the provisions marker.

(3.4) Mounts
If you have a riding mount, flying mount or a riding turtle you are able to travel 3 areas per day (standard rule). But the mount needs food, too. So the provision costs are doubled.
If you have not enough gold you can dismiss the mount (say goodbye) and from now on you only have to pay for your own provisions.

(4) Event and Destiny Cards
...are used in the standard way. As stated in the SoW-Rules, start on the first day with the first destiny card.

(5) Actions per Day
(5.1) Sequence of Actions per Day
When you move the day (round) marker, always imagine “Now a new day is beginning”. Then do the actions in this sequence as appropriate:
a. You recover.
b. You pay the costs for your provisions (see provisions marker).
c. The merchant gets new goods (put new items in the merchant deck – check the day bar).
d. An event happens (event card – check round bar).
e. You get information where the other faction is (see below “Other faction”).
f. A destiny event happens (destiny card - check destiny marker).
g. Do your actions (fight, visit the merchant, etc.)

(5.2) When the Marker Reaches Day 30
...the game continues. Put the marker to position 1.
Additionally remove 8 random items from the merchant deck if possible and put them back in the appropriate decks. These wares have been bought by other adventurers, but it’s possible that the merchant might get them again.

(6) Death
When you’re dead:
a. Your enemies take all your money (it’s entirely lost).
b. You resurrect at the next graveyard or your home town with full health and energy.
c. You are fed for now, readjust the provisions marker: set it 5 days ahead
d. If you simultaneously defeated a creature, put the rewards in the area. After your resurrection you may visit the area again and collect the loot.

(7) Levelling Up
(7.1) Independent (Blue) Creatures
To reach your next hero level you have to perform you contribution to clean the land of lordaeron from evil monsters. That means you have to kill an amount of independent creatures equal to your actual level. That means, for reaching level 4, you have to kill 3 blue creatures.
Put each killed blue creature in the unused fighting zone of the opposing faction (These are the souls of the creatures). After levelling up clear the zone.
If you earn XP while you haven’t killed enough blue creatures, the level token stays at the last position of your level and the surplus XP’s are lost (no conversion to gold). So you can’t level up by only fighting bosses or dungeon monsters. So you have to solve quests for spawning fresh independent creatures.
If you play cooperatively or with more than one character, you don’t need this number for each character. Instead, each character has to take part in X fights against the independent creatures.

(7.2) Attaining Level 6
Since we use only the lordaeron board, apply the following rule: When level 5 is reached and you get your next XP, place your character token at position 1. You attain Level 6 if you have earned enough points to arrive at the level 5 position again.
When level 6 is reached and you get additional XP, get gold instead.

(7.3) Flying Mount
As stated in the standard BC-Rules, when you have reached level 6 you can use a flying mount. But remember, this animal needs food and so your provision costs are higher (See above). At any time when you pay for provisions you can decide whether you want to use the mount (and can afford it) or not.

(8) Quests
(8.1) Drawing new Quests
Whenever you draw a new quest, draw an additional quest of the same colour from the opposite faction, but place only the blue creatures and then put the card to the opposite’s active quest pile. This deck is needed later on, see below. Apply these rules:
- If no blue creature is on the card, put no blue creature onto the board.
- If you draw an outland quest, draw a new quest as reference and put the outland creature on the lordaeron area. Do this until you draw a lordaeron quest.
- Remove 1 random quest from the opposite’s active quest pile from the lowest colour. Consider this as resolved.

(8.2) Outland Quests
Since we don’t use the outland board but the outland quests, use the following procedure whenever you draw an outland quest: draw another quest of the same colour and put the figures of the outland quest to the places on the lordaeron board. If you drew an outland quest card again, put this card randomly back in the deck and go ahead until you draw a lordaeron quest. The lordaeron quest card put back to the deck.

(8.3) Blue Quests
They are all simultaneously active, that means we use the blue quest cards as library for the rewards of independent creatures.

(9) The other faction
(9.1) Principle
Keep in mind that you have 5 enemies:
a. Quest creatures
b. independent creatures
c. bosses form event and destiny cards
d. overlords
e. the other faction

So at the beginning of the game choose 2 figures of the other faction and put them in their home town. These are your opponents; we will need them later on.

(9.2) Where Is the other faction?
If no war is active:
Each time you draw an event card, draw randomly one of the active opposing quests (you used for placing the blue creatures on the board). The other faction is right now at the quest place (area of the green/red/purple creature). If you draw an outland quest discard it. Place the other character/s in this field.
The characters are there until a new event card is drawn.

If a war is active: see below.

(9.3) Number of other Characters
Except during war (see below), the number is equal to the number of characters in your faction (1 or 2).

(9.4) Sudden Encounter
If surprisingly the other characters are at your current place, you will immediately fight each other to death (See below).

(9.5) Fight the Enemy Faction
If you manage to meet the other faction (you are close enough or can use a flight route), you can attack.

The other characters are fought like normal creatures. The higher your level is, the stronger the other characters are. So apply the values of these reference creatures:
Level 1+2: green scarlet crusader
Level 3: red scarlet crusader
Level 4: purple scarlet crusader
Level 5: purple worgen
Level 6: purple oger

Remember, if in your faction there are 2 characters, you will face 2 enemy characters, too. Conduct the battle in that case as if fought against 2 of the above stated creatures.

(9.6) Reward on Victory
If you win, you earn rewards:
- from event cards if active (old hatreds, bounty or war, see below) and
- 1 or 2 items from the appropriate deck (refer to the round bar) and
- gold: your Level + one dice roll

Put the defended characters to their home town.

(9.7) Old Hatreds
If drawn, that means you should look for your “hatred” and defeat him. But where is he? You have the inner wish to kill your hatred! Place the card in your area and apply it after the next victory over a character of the other faction.
There can be only so much old hatred cards simultaneously in play as enemy characters exist (1-3). If a surplus card is drawn, interpret it as a reminder and discard it immediately.
If you can’t earn the XP because you haven’t killed enough blue creatures, get gold instead.

(9.8) Bounty
Someone gives a reward for killing your enemy! Now it’s time for finding and killing it!
Use “Bounty” in analogue to “Old Hatreds”. Both cards can be active at the same time. Go and get the bounty!

(9.9) Wars
War is a serious business. So if a war breaks out, the world is in great danger and you must act immediately!
a. At first, place 2 war tokens and the 2 enemy characters (regardless of the number of characters in your faction) in the war areas. These are the war leaders. While the war is active, the enemy characters are at those places (if a new event card is drawn, draw no quest card for looking for them).
b. March right away to one of the war zones.
c. If arrived in the first area fight the first war leader (See above, fight the enemy faction).
d. If you succeed, get your reward (See above, reward on victory).
e. If you lose, you are dead (See above, “Death”).
f. If victorious, go to the second war zone and fight the second war leader.
g. If victorious again, get your reward again incl. the reward for the war and discard the war event card.

Important: If a war is active and another war breaks out, you have immediately lost the first war! So you are beaten and dead! But after resurrected, you have no time to lose. Go and win the new war!

(9.10) Subterfuge
You can swap one of your quests with the active quests of the opposing faction. To do this
- remove your quest figure from the board,
- place the quest figure of the opposing quest onto the board and
- swap the quest cards.

(10) Beasts of Lordaeron
Move the 2 nearest blue creatures 2 places towards the nearest character of your faction.

(11) Auctions
Bid for the item if you wish. Then determine the other offers. There are as many other offers as characters in your faction (1 or 2). The height of the offers depends on your level:
Level 1-3: 1 Die
Level 4-5: Total of 2 Dice
Level 6: Total of 3 Dice

If your offer is higher than the highest other offer, you get it. If it is equal, start the auction again (new bet, new dice).

(12) Rucksack Limit
These items never count against the limit:
- potions
- scrolls
- ammo

(13) Outland Dungeons
If you want to enter an outland dungeon, quest for it in that way: Draw a random new quest from your faction’s red quest cards (Discard outland cards). The dungeon lies in that area. Mark it with a war symbol and put the corresponding symbol on top of the dungeon card deck.

(14) Fighting Overlords
No special rules in general. Maybe I will design some scenarios for my variant using the overlords sometime.

I hope you enjoy this variant as much as I do.

Any kind of feedback is very welcome.
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Damien Browne
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I have read your rules, but have not tried it.
These are my thoughts and/or suggestions as they come to me.

(Your preface is noted. I see your intent.)
1.3 Solo play. What gameplay difference is felt by using one hero versus two? Is it incredibly difficult with a lone hero?

2.2 Training is considered the same as fighting or visiting a merchant?
I kind of visualise Training to be visiting a sensei, studying with him, training with him, learning from him.
You don't learn things in an instant.
If it's this way for game mechanic reasons I'm ok with that, mind you. Gotta keep things simple sometimes.

3.4 If you have a flying mount must you stop when you travel into a land occupied by blue creatures?

5.1 (and 2.3) I kind of like that you recover overnight. However, part of me is screaming at me that (thematically) you would recover energy far more quickly than your health, with a good night's rest.
The other part of me is trying to tell me that one level's worth of health+energy really isn't very high, so it would probably work fine how you have it.
A small niggling voice is asking if there was any way that this system would make the cleric better or worse to play.

5.1 the order: I might be wrong (it's been so long since I played) but from memory, in the game the destiny card takes effect before the event card. If I'm wrong, ignore this. If not, is there a reason for switching it round? Or is it just how you liked it?

7.1 If setting up a quest requires a blue monster and the only monster of that type not currently on the board is counting as a soul, can I just take it from there and replace the soul with any other more abundant blue monster? Or is the soul locked to the monster I killed?

7.2 That takes forever to get to level 6. Just sayin'

7.3 If today I cannot afford to pay for my mount's provisions, I let it go. In five days time I must pay for provisions. If on that day I have so much cash it's crazy, can I get my mount back? (ie, is it sold/released, or is it dead?)

8.3 To be clear: Killing a blue monster always gives the blue quest reward. Correct?

13. Is this part of setup? Or do you just decide during the game that a dungeon is now going to exist where none did a moment ago?

14. What rules pertain to setting up the Overlord(s)?

In my own home-grown version of solo play, I put all the overlords into play, and Nefarion walks toward the dungeon near the horde's home town.

In your version, though, every day I'd roll a die to determine where he walks (if at all. 4-5, for example, might be stand still.)
If he lands on a location with a dungeon, he goes to the bottom of that dungeon and waits for someone to come get him.

I assume you use the Burning Crusade monster chart for monster abilities?

I would consider changing hero any time you die, and if every champion in your faction dies, you lose the game.
I would consider killing every overlord to be the win, and your score is how many spare champions you have in your faction.
I would consider the cleric to have a one time use resurrection spell. (Must go to the graveyard where the last champion died to perform the spell. That champion returns to unused champion pile.)


I got confused a bit with your war scenario, but I think it's just because I'm a bit tired. I'll check it again some time soon.
 
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Mr Uranus
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bluebehir wrote:
I have read your rules, but have not tried it.
These are my thoughts and/or suggestions as they come to me.

Thank you very much for your interest and comments! Here are my answers:
bluebehir wrote:
1.3 Solo play. What gameplay difference is felt by using one hero versus two? Is it incredibly difficult with a lone hero?

I tried both: with one hero and two heroes.

Playing with two heroes:
- You can challenge and defeat each end boss
- You can choose them so, that they complement each other (one hero uses a wand, the other a sword; one is only allowed to use cloth amour the other plate male too)
- You can swap items between them

Playing with one hero:
- Better imagination: You are that hero (like in a computer game)
- It’s less administration (cards, spells and so on)
- You need less space on the table
- You can defeat at least all lordaeron end bosses
- Last time I even killed the end boss in a level 6 dungeon.
So both options have their charm - try both!

bluebehir wrote:
2.2 Training is considered the same as fighting or visiting a merchant?
I kind of visualise Training to be visiting a sensei, studying with him, training with him, learning from him.
You don't learn things in an instant.
If it's this way for game mechanic reasons I'm ok with that, mind you. Gotta keep things simple sometimes.

Yes, that’s one possibility to train. I imagine, that I have "learned" the ability by doing. During fight I tried different methods and from a special point I am sure with that. The ability or spell is supposed to be available now.

bluebehir wrote:
3.4 If you have a flying mount must you stop when you travel into a land occupied by blue creatures?

No, because you fly over them.

bluebehir wrote:
5.1 (and 2.3) I kind of like that you recover overnight. However, part of me is screaming at me that (thematically) you would recover energy far more quickly than your health, with a good night's rest.
The other part of me is trying to tell me that one level's worth of health+energy really isn't very high, so it would probably work fine how you have it.
A small niggling voice is asking if there was any way that this system would make the cleric better or worse to play.

I find it pretty easy to handle it in that way. The cleric is rather strong and it’s fun to play him!

bluebehir wrote:
5.1 the order: I might be wrong (it's been so long since I played) but from memory, in the game the destiny card takes effect before the event card. If I'm wrong, ignore this. If not, is there a reason for switching it round? Or is it just how you liked it?

I think that’s not so important as long as you have a rule and apply it every time in the same way.

bluebehir wrote:
7.1 If setting up a quest requires a blue monster and the only monster of that type not currently on the board is counting as a soul, can I just take it from there and replace the soul with any other more abundant blue monster?

Yes, exactly. It’s just for better imagination.

bluebehir wrote:
7.2 That takes forever to get to level 6. Just sayin'

You will be surprised - it’s quite fast. You’ll need 3-5 fights, because the red and pink quests provide a lot of XP. I think it feels improper to reach level 6 after one fight after level 5. Reaching level 6 is a strong motivation for playing. And the satisfaction is the higher in that way.

bluebehir wrote:
7.3 If today I cannot afford to pay for my mount's provisions, I let it go. In five days time I must pay for provisions. If on that day I have so much cash it's crazy, can I get my mount back? (ie, is it sold/released, or is it dead?)

No. If you can’t feed it, you bid it farewell. You let the mount fly back to the wilderness, where it came from. It’s not dead, it’s free. You cannot get it back.

bluebehir wrote:
8.3 To be clear: Killing a blue monster always gives the blue quest reward. Correct?

Yes, correct.

bluebehir wrote:
13. Is this part of setup? Or do you just decide during the game that a dungeon is now going to exist where none did a moment ago?

It’s not part of the setup. Imagine it as follows:
You heard rumours of a dungeon full of incredible strong and evil monsters. If you are keen to know where it lies, you ask a stranger. Then he tells you the location (now apply the procedure from the rules).
The dungeon was in the area since ever, but not apparent. The areas are big enough, so if you are not very observant, you won’t notice the dungeon.
So it’s up to you when that happens.

bluebehir wrote:
14. What rules pertain to setting up the Overlord(s)?

The easiest way is to put the wanted overlord in his starting area and challenge it if you are prepared.
I started to create a scenario where you have to fight some overloads in a row with a story background. But it isn’t completed yet.

bluebehir wrote:
I assume you use the Burning Crusade monster chart for monster abilities?

Yes.

bluebehir wrote:
I would consider changing hero any time you die, and if every champion in your faction dies, you lose the game.
I would consider killing every overlord to be the win, and your score is how many spare champions you have in your faction.
I would consider the cleric to have a one time use resurrection spell. (Must go to the graveyard where the last champion died to perform the spell. That champion returns to unused champion pile.)

That could be funny too!

bluebehir wrote:
I got confused a bit with your war scenario, but I think it's just because I'm a bit tired. I'll check it again some time soon.

If you have any questions feel free to ask :-)
I'm eager to read you first session report!
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